At this point, most pundits, bloggers, and college football fans expect to see some member of the Big XII South play the SEC champion. There are some teams outside the conference which still have a shot, at least in theory (USC anyone?) but everyone agrees that barring some kind of colossal shakeup, the Big XII will deliver one of their pinball wizard scoring machines to Miami.
They may get their shot at the crystal, but the stats nerds at Saurian Sagacity say that defense will be the Big XII's undoing.
Mergz tallied up the Big XII's top 5 teams' points allowed against non-conference and conference opponents alike. Here's what he found:
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Non Conference Defense PPG - 16.5
Conference Defense PPG - 27.2
Then he tallied up the SEC's top 5:
Non Conference Defense PPG - 9.1
Conference Defense PPG - 22.14
Obviously, the SEC is allowing half the points to non-con opponents and defends better in-conference as well. Mergz goes on to point out that the SEC's non-conference opponents were arguably of higher quality. What does it add up to? Take it away, Mergz...
BCS history tells us teams that don't have good defenses don't fare well on the big stage, and the Big 12 doesn't have good defenses, even when accounting for their high powered offenses. Will this year be different, and a big scoring offense be able to overcome a stout defense? I doubt it, but we will likely see.
For more stats on this subject than you can shake a stick at, visit Saurian Sagacity.